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Ragtime in Simla (Joe Sandilands #2)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  814 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Simla 1922. While the rest of India bakes in the hot season, up in the pine-scented coolness of the Himalayan hills the English have recreated a vision of home. Here are half-timbered houses, amateur theatricals, gymkhanas and a glittering vice-regal court for the socialites. The summer capital of the British Raj is fizzing with the energy of the jazz age. It is toward thi ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Dell (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Susan
Ragtime in Simla by Barbara Cleverly is the second book of the Detective Joe Sandilands mystery series set in 1920s India. Once again Joe is working for George Jardine. I found it curious that George’s niece Nancy was never mentioned even in passing, since Joe and Nancy worked closely together to solve a series of murders in the first book, The Last Kashmiri Rose. I also found it odd that Joe’s scar made an erroneous first impression twice in this second book; the first book just briefly mention ...more
Mike
The second installment of the Sandilands chronicles is as entertaining as the first. There may even be a few more twists and turns in this second tale. Sandilands can't seem to make it out of India. The wily Sir George Jardine pulls the Scotland Yard Commander into another murder investigation--the brother of an heiress to a East India company has been shot by a sniper. As Sandilands enters the picture he meets a renowned Russian tenor who is set to perform at the Gaiety Theatre in Simla. And th ...more
Donna
This is really an excellent series. The descriptions of the places are wonderful and I love the intricate plots that are not obvious at all. This one has Joe thinking he's taking a month off in the summer highland area of Simla but instead he is called on to solve two murders that took place a year apart.
Mary Miley
Having returned last year from a long trip to India, I was eager to read a novel set in the area I had visited. Of course, the story takes place in the 1920s, so nothing would look the same; still, it is always fun to have a connection to a book's setting.
Barbara Cleverly writes a classic mystery in Ragtime in Simla. She sets up a murder early on and then we find virtually every character in the book a suspect. And just when the reader thinks she has pinpointed the killer, the story turns off i
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Penny
This is the second in the Joe Sandilands series - Joe is on leave in Simla before returning to England. On his journey up from the plains his pleasant companion, a Russian opera singer is shot dead by a sniper. This sweeps from Simla to Marseille to Delhi and Afghanstan - very convoluted and unexpected - wont spoil the ending !!
Tia
Maybe I should have given this 3 stars because it was slow moving and easy to figure out most of the "mystery", but the setting and the time frame were so interesting. I think this would make a good movie and Tom Ford could do the costumes!
Marilyn
This is the second in the India series by Cleverly, and I enjoyed it as I did the first. One of the problems of writing a series has to be the settling in of the characters that you introduced in the first book. There was some slight changes and emphases from the first book which I put down to Cleverly getting to know her hero better. The sense of place was particularly wonderful as an introduction of India. It was a complex plot and the protagonist gets pulled in believing he is on vacation, bu ...more
Jean Hontz
The British Raj just after WW1. An assassination. Or two? And why would anyone assassinate an opera singer. Or were they aiming for the detective sitting next to him?
Annelie Rozeboom
This is the second book I've read in this series of murder mysteries in India in the 1920's. Light and entertaining.
Marie
Joe Sandilands has cemented his place on my list of favorite detectives.
Beth
This is the second book in the Joe Sandilands series, and is as evocative and interesting as the first, The Last Kashmiri Rose. In this installment, Sandilands is drawn into another unsolved murder case, this time in Simla. While I found Sandilands' tendency to let strong, beautiful women get away with all sorts of mayhem to be a bit grating, I liked this as much as the first book and plan on continuing with the series.
Sorcha
Simla 1922. While the rest of India bakes in the hot season, up in the pine-scented coolness of the Himalayan hills the English have recreated a vision of home. Here are half-timbered houses, amateur theatricals, gymkhanas and a glittering vice-regal court for the socialites. The summer capital of the British Raj is fizzing with the energy of the jazz age. It is toward this country that detective Joe Sandilands is heading as the guest of the governor of Bengal. But when Joe's travelling companio ...more
Denise
It was great to read a Joe Sandilands story. It has been a while since I read the first one in the series but I was happy to find this copy at my local library. Once again, Barbara Cleverly has woven a spider's web of deception, intrigue, and murder. I kept trying to determine how the story would end and while I had some parts correct, other elements totally surprised me.
Most of this book’s actions take place in Simla in 1922 India. Joe thinks he is getting a vacation offered by Sir George Jardi
...more
Suzy
I learned about this book from my Page-a-Day book calendar. It sounded interesting and was. It's book 2 of a series featuring Joe Sandilands, of Scotland Yard, and takes place right after World War 1 in India during the Raj. Joe, a WWI veteran, has been working in Bombay and is looking forward to taking a month off in Simla where people from Bombay go in the summer to escape the heat -- it's in the foothills of the Himalayas. Since this is a mystery series, of course he doesn't find the R&R ...more
LJ
RAGTIME IN SIMLA – VG
Barbara Cleverly
Scotland Yard Commander Joseph Sandilands, a World War I hero, has accepted an invitation to spend his vacation at the guesthouse of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal in Simla, the summer capital of the British Raj. A noted Russian opera singer who will be performing there shares a ride with him from the train station in the governor's car. As they climb the steep mountain road, a sniper kills the singer and Sandilands' vacation turns into an investigation. W
...more
Elli
Simla is in far north India and was really frontier during the British rule of India, the time zone in which this story was to have taken place. Joe Sandilands is the detective. But all the characters are very real and the reader gets to know them and identify with them as well as well as having strong feelings about some. The story begins with a train trip from which a number of passengers are foreigners who are now in India and are on their way going through India to their destinations. And th ...more
Ian
Slightly disappointing is this one, the second of the author's books I read, after the excellent 'Palace Tiger'. Don't get me wrong, its still a very good mystery thriller set against the backdrop of colonial India, with the usual well researched cultural references of the time, from women's fashion and jazz to weaponry and machinery. The plot is as usual very complex with endless twists and turns till the very end, compelling one to read on just to find out if the culprit gets captured. But it ...more
jane andraka
Number 2

Love these books- always twists and turns that surprise and interesting characters
off to buy number three and see what's next!
Kellie
(#2 in the Joe Sandilands Series)-This was OK. There was something missing. Although, I can’t put my finger on it. Joe is summoned back to Simla (from London) by Sir George. There are 2 unsolved murders and George wants Joe to help Charlie solve them. There are a lot of twists and turns. Cleaverly does a good job with describing history and Simla, India. That is very interesting. The murder plot is also interesting and mistaken identities and dangerous people change variably through out the stor ...more
Turi
Barbara Cleverly is a great mystery writer. Things surprising me right up to the end. And this book was set in Simla, India - during the British Raj, so it just couldn't get much better for me!
Penny Shukan
I like these books about Joe Sandilands. They are not literature and they are not deep. Just a pleasant diversion.
Leslie
Aug 25, 2014 Leslie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers.
What a great mystery. So many twists and turns. It kept me guessing to the end. Loved it.
Mike Rhode
This series, set in 1922 India, has been fun and full of surprise twists.
Spuddie
Another enjoyable foray into post-WWI India, with detective Joe Sandilands, who thinks he's going on holiday to Simla. He ends up investigating (unofficially) the murder of a Russian singer who happened to be travelling with him, and then discovers that the murder is tied to another very similar death.

Plenty of historical detail, engagingly written with an interesting mystery--lots of red herrings so the killer isn't obvious--and a main character that I'm growing to like more all the time. Defin
...more
Writerlibrarian
This second novel of Barbara Cleverly, featuring Commander Joe Sandilands delivered quite an intriguing and twisted mystery with a pretty good gallery of characters, well fleshed out (even the secondary characters). All have their little spotlight part. This second novel is better constructed, less out of nowhere twists and turns and delivers a solid mystery with an exotic and lush background that you can almost smell and touch. Looking forward to the next one : The Damascened Blade.
Kapi
I'm definitely getting into this series. There were a lot of twists and turns in the plot and I did not see all of them coming. I think my attention was diverted by learning of a culture I know little about: both the Raj and India outside of the major cities. I listened to this one, which was fine, but I'd rather read the next one and it isn't available on the Kindle. In fact, there seems no order for which entry is available where.
Janet
This book just didn't do it for me. It didn't help that the narrator was a tad annoying, but the story just didn't hold my interest. It felt slow and prodding. I tuned out several times along the way and didn't follow the progress of the story all that closely. When they got into a seance is when I decided to give up on it. There are too many other books waiting for me to spend time with rather than one that doesn't keep me engaged.
Joyce
What a lovely little mystery. I could see the twists and turns. Some of them I felt oh so clever - and then she threw in another I didn't see coming. Mind you I usually don't try too hard, I usually go along for the ride.

I found the repartee between characters to be pretty funny too, and overall I enjoyed this very much.

I'd highly recommend this to mystery fans. It was lovely. I'm looking forward to reading the next one!
Connie
Second in the series and the third book I've read by Barbara Cleverly. This one had more twists and turns at the end so was a little more enjoyable than the first in the series. The time period of 1920s India and the setting in the mountains where everyone goes in the summer to escape the heat is very well done. I understand that a character from this book will turn up in a future book so will plan to continue reading the series.
Dawn
Another good mystery solved by Joe Sandilands. This time he is invited to Simla, the summer capital of India, to spend some of his vacation but before he can even get to the city a murder is committed. As Sandilands investigates the murder of a Russian opera singer he finds the mystery goes back to the unfortunate crash of a train 7 years previously.
This was a great sequel and I'll be sure to read the rest of the series.
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Barbara Cleverly was born in the north of England and is a graduate of Durham University. A former teacher, she has spent her working life in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk; she now lives in Cambridge. She has one son and five step-children.

Her Joe Sandilands series of books set against the background of the British Raj was inspired by the contents of a battered old tin trunk that she found in her att
...more
More about Barbara Cleverly...
The Last Kashmiri Rose (Joe Sandilands, #1) The Damascened Blade (Joe Sandilands, #3) The Tomb of Zeus (Laetitia Talbot, #1) The Palace Tiger (Joe Sandilands, #4) Tug of War (Joe Sandilands, #6)

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